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Archive for March 6th, 2010

  • Day 7: To Live and Die on Donut Holes

    Date: 2010.03.06 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 3

    First, I doubt I would have gotten to Day 7 without you. Merci.

    By you I mean the collective You to whom I am writing every day. Since we’re all One, I guess this is a complicated way of addressing myself.

    Hence, success – so far. And no I am not feeling any of that cloying brand new me high a lot of magazine articles etc. promise you post-sugar. I continue to be irritable – especially wherever there are other people. I am currently pricing vacations in the northern Yukon and the Australian Outback.

    Given some stress this past week, I normally would have thrown in the towel around 9:30 p.m. on Day 4 and made a trip out for a Magnum ice cream bar in the messy back freezer at the Epicerie Centrale across the street.

    But no, I’ve kept going because my digital conscience required it. In fact, I’ve become so conscientious that I even skipped something I’d ordinarily consider OK even when on a no-sweets regime: a raspberry smoothie from the new Zest Juice Bar.

    This place advertises sans sucre ajouté. No added sugar. But I know they use frozen yogurt. So I asked the guy if there was truly no sugar in the yogurt. I explained I was giving up sweets and writing a blog about it so I had to know. For You.

    He denied there was any extra sugar, until I asked the question three different ways (he’s French) and he finally admitted he put “just a little” in the frozen yogurt before mixing it up

    Smoothies don’t rate as something I crave, exactly. I crave candy – and to a lesser extent cookies and ice cream. Pies and cake come last. So under my own personal dietary no-candy laws, smooothies are allowed. But given all the focus that’s come up as a result of me writing this journal, I decided to have pure juice, sans sucre ajouté, instead.

    I’m being extra-strict with myself because I know full well how eccentric my own no-candy dietary laws can be once I get past the first week or so of giving up sweets.

    Once when I was in my 20s, I gave up sweets for about nine months or so. But for the last few months, my dietary laws got more and more…flexible.

    For example, at the time I was a newspaper reporter in California. There was a Winchell’s Donuts right outside where I worked. I love Winchell’s Donuts. Unlike the sickening 40-pound hockey pucks that pass for doughnuts at Dunkin Donuts where I grew up in the Northeast, Winchell’s doughnuts are to me, fantastic delicacies baked by ethereal chefs wearing angel wings and perched on the highest clouds.

    (Yes, idealistic Francophiles who think if it’s French it’s gotta be better than anything in America – I’d take Winchell’s over French pastries.)

    By the by, Winchell’s had an excellent selection of doughnut holes in addition to the main doughnuts. (Can I say I just left this page to go to the Winchell’s website to review my old favorites – chocolate iced buttermilk bar, bear claw, maple iced French donut – and thought, forget it. This no-sweets deal is the silliest idea I’ve ever had. I’m going to fly to Santa Monica tonight and head for that dirty Winchell’s with the homeless people near the Third Street Promenade and eat every doughnut I want. And then go over to See’s candies on Wilshire…)

    Anyway, I’m back. I’ve got some healthy chicken cooking on the stove. I’m sure that’ll be just as good.

    Back to the Winchell’s doughnut holes. So way back in my 20s, I’d start buying a few doughnut holes every afternoon because what you may not know is – doughnut holes are not really doughnuts and therefore not really sweets.

    I continued to eat doughnut holes well before finally admitting that I was eating sweets when I said I wasn’t.

    Among other things I’ve considered non-sweets: whipped cream. A can of whipped cream (which tastes way better in France than the synthetic Reddi Wip you buy in the U.S.) clearly has sugar but since it is not classified by the general public as a dessert by itself…then to me it is allowed per my innovative, no-sweets dietary laws.

    Also: jelly beans or other tiny candies taken from someone else’s glass jar on someone else’s desk are not really candies nor do they contain calories. Tiny stale chocolate Easter eggs found underneath a cousin’s son’s nightstand in a suburb also do not qualify as candy.

    My dicey dietary laws are not my only worry as I face the remaining 268 days without candy and sweets.

    I know that right about this point, Day 7, the novelty, what little there was, has worn off. And the addictive part of my brain will be seeking substitutes.

    Normally – during other failed no-sweets attempts – I stock up on peanut butter and honey right about now.

    Peanut butter and honey become my candy. I have a little spoon – and I start beating a path to those jars as if they were lines of coke on the kitchen table. Just one more spoonful. No, wait, just one more. This is going to be it. Really. OK, just one more.

    Honey has always been allowed under my dubious dietary laws. But when talking to Connie Bennett of Sugar Shock the other day, I heard her mention that she considers honey to be a sugar to avoid.

    So I did not buy honey today at the 8 à Huit.

    But I did buy peanut butter.

    What did I eat this afternoon? A few spoonfuls of peanut butter and raspberry jam, which I always have in the house. The jars are still there and basically full. Peanut butter and jam are totally allowed but that’s not the point. I know me.

    Funny thing is, the more I write this journal, the more I toy with the idea of going farther and trying the whole sugar-free thing. Not just candy and sweets. I mean no raspberry jam, no muesli for breakfast if it’s the muesli with sugar in it.

    But I didn’t do it today.

    And right now I’m not craving anything. The chicken was actually quite good!

    Notice I didn’t say pork.

    That might hit a bit close to home.


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This American candy addict/journalist in France writes about quitting candy – and all desserts – for at least one year beginning Feb. 28, 2010. Follow my progress – or relapses – as I delete candy corn, moelleux au chocolat, peppermint patties, Carambars, tarte tatin, After Eights, crème brûlée, Nutella, tapioca pudding, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Haribo Polkas, M & Ms and more from my life. Learn about the evils of white sugar and its effects on mood and health from my interviews with experts and friends! Let the sugar fog lift!

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